How to keep your customers informed through marketing and social

I thought I would just write a blog to encourage people to continue to promote their business during the Coronavirus crisis.

Google and Bing Business Listings

Everyone should have a Google My Business listing, and a Bing one for that matter.

They are free to set up and manage and appear for relevant searches on Google and Google Maps, and Bing appears on Bing places, Microsoft and Yahoo.

If people are searching for your business, they usually type in the name and the location. The business listings will provide all the info a searcher needs including location, business hours, services, pictures, reviews, menus and contact details. They will even say if you are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. On a mobile, customers can ring you directly from your Google My Business listing. 

For customers and clients, having this information ready when people are search is a bonus. It is also FREE. If you haven’t already set up a GMB or Bing listing – now is the time to do so and it will put you in a better position when you are ready for business to pick up again. 


During this time, send your emails separately and pro-actively address specific concerns of your customers. 


Keep this updated with your most recent and essential information as well as the channels your customers can go to for up-to-date information.

Social Media Profile

Pin a specific post that gives any relevant responses or link it to your website page, which shows new information – however, don’t forget it is pinned when you come to post another post.


Ensure your business premises display the current information and opening hours. If you put up a temporary sign a few weeks ago – you may need to replace it or change the notice.


You should be modifying your homepage to indicate you are on top of the situation and if you are doing anything new or different. You can use a sticky notification bar, a full-page rework or a link to a Covid-19 page.

Google My Business listing

Remember to update with new opening times or a temporary closure notice. If you are making time for anything, this is the one to prioritise. Google is running a Covid-19 update facility but have currently suspended reviews and turned off short name. Check your attributes – delivery, pick-up, drive-through?

Google What’s New Posts

These posts disappear after seven days but you can use an Events post where you can to set a time frame.

Adjust your marketing messages.

Do keep your messages relevant and make sure you are not insensitive. If you are still running ads make sure they are not old adverts or posts. Mistakes can be costly during a crisis. 

Google and Facebook Ad Credits

Both will shortly be issuing ad credits to small and medium-sized companies. These giants have seen their marketing revenues drop, and now is an excellent time to be taking advantage of lower auction prices in many sectors.


Don’t expect posts to reach any more than 2% of your followers and don’t waste money on boosting posts – it’s like giving money to Facebook. You need to use their Business Manager and be super savvy. There is lots of online help or ask us about it.

Working Remotely

If using Google’s free apps ie Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. you might find Tips to Work with Remote Teams useful.


Marketing during the COVID-19 crisis

In the world of digital marketing, the last couple of weeks has seen us react quickly to support clients with advice to ongoing and future campaigns, rescheduling, cancellations, making changes to websites, updating opening times and delivery information. On social media, we have responded to the demands of clients preparing their businesses for when a kind of normality returns. 

COVID-19 is certainly shaping consumer behaviour, the customer journey and many are turning to phones and personal contact to get the information they need quickly and precisely.

Certain businesses have seen an increase in demand from the obvious; hospitals, telehealth, subscriptions to online services and care, but spin-offs have included more demand for self-storage, pest control, financial services, senior living and mattresses. We assume the latter is because younger family members are living-in to help others.

Across the board, the search volume for COVID-19 has risen exponentially and will have an impact on your brand. Our suggestions, therefore, are try to position your brand as a helper and work on strategies with your blog posts, your social media and your PPC.

Many businesses are pulling back from PPC to SEO and content marketing. If you are aware of your Google Analytics stats, your insights to organic Search can be improved and used to tap into your customers’ behaviour.

Here are some interesting stats from US data company Dialogtech showing the current difference between Organic and Paid Search with regard to phone enquiries.

What else could you be doing? 

Give out a clear message

If you have a retail store which has had to close because you’re not an essential business, then explain why and let your clients know that you hope to be soon open again. 

Perhaps you have a shop that has had to change your opening hours because of staff shortages or problems with supply. Share your news as well as local content and be empathetic with others.

On what channels can people find information about your business?

The most important are: your website, Google My Business, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked-In, Trip-Advisor and Bing.

Make sure your brand messages are consistent as this will enhance your SEO

Check out where people are visiting your website from – it’s all there on Google Analytics.

Let your customers know you are working and open for business. If not now, then prepare from when you will re-open and how you will manage social distancing in your shop or business. 

Remember to post those opening hours and updates on social media. Add a banner or a pop-up but make sure it’s only on the home page and doesn’t distract visitors by appearing on every page they visit. 

If you have reduced staff, let your customers know by adding an extra line on your contact form by saying your response times may not be as quick as usual. 

Change Google My Business and Facebook business hours

With any business hours changes, follow those through on Google My Business (GMB) and Facebook pages. Use Google’s COVID-19 update options which will preview on your profile and, if your business is temporarily closed, you can mark it as ‘temporarily closed’ on GMB.

If you have put a plan in place to direct people around your premises to adhere to social distancing, why not talk people through it and show them with a video? Give them the reassurance they need to come back into the shop or business premises. 

Google Reviews and the ability to edit names on GMB have currently been suspended. The Q&A section has also been temporarily removed due to the crisis.

Don’t forget to use Facebook. Chat is up around 50%, and people are spending a lot of time on Facebook while working remotely. Creating content and reposting helpful content could be seen as a real benefit to your business. 

Brand building and awareness

Don’t sit back during the crisis, show everyone you have resources and your business is in good health so that when the time comes, you can return to normal. 

You may well find you have new customers, have benefited from the additional exposure, have built some brand advocates and have sent out your brand messages and maximised exposure. Use webinars, giveaways, learn a new skill, participate in podcasts, host a digital summit or be a speaker and create some digital content so you can hit the ground running when the need returns. 

How do we all stay healthy, engaged and safe when so much has changed in our world?

Work goes on, and there is a value. From what we all see from our online feeds; education, engagement and entertainment continue in different forms all around us. People have adapted, improved and become more versatile than ever with their ideas. 

Should the Coronavirus stop B2Bs from marketing? 

Should we all stop and stay quiet, or shall we continue to provide value to our clients and new audiences?

Businesses all around us are adjusting to the new norm. Work doesn’t always stop. With some businesses, unfortunately, they have no choice, but for others, companies still need support, information, advice, products, supply and services. There have been and, will be, new challenges, new opportunities and ways in which we can help our B2B customers and our B2C.

We have a new reality. People and businesses have new needs which we need to meet as well as new fears that we can help address. We need to find a way we can do our job but do it differently. 

There is no written plan for this – the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented. Some brands will get it wrong. Their sales may be too strong, and they could be seen to be exploiting the public. Others could risk not doing anything or pretend it’s business as normal.  Some companies are working hard remotely, and others are working flat out to support under-resourced NHS teams. In the last few weeks, we have all come to appreciate those things we took for granted, and it is wonderful to see how many people care for their community and those that live within it.  

There is a lot of content out there, some good, some poor and some that is affecting your customers. Remember, whatever advice you give, it needs to be relevant, and your content calendar should be adjusted accordingly. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to use your story – it’s a powerful message.

Businesses should be adjusting their marketing calendar as it is impossible to continue with existing plans. Could you bring projects forward or keep them on hold? Giffgaff had a campaign planned for the end of the year and, as it was focusing on building communities, they have adapted what they had currently filmed, changed the format, and brought the launch date forward as ‘communities’ due to ‘community’ focus.

Some hard costs and reputation costs will inevitably not be recouped, but it is still essential to work on your reputation and be communicative. Let people know what’s happening with your business, be transparent, be one with the community and keep your customers on board so that when we have the green light, you are prepped and ready to go.

Here is some helpful information on How to Host a Virtual Event and How to Organise a Webinar on LinkedIn’s work resources page.